Hassan: After two successive defeats against Congress nominee A Manju in Arakalgudu seat, Janata Dal(Secular) nominee A.T. Ramaswamy returned with a win in the seat by a margin of 10,653 votes against his old rival and Congress nominee A Manju. Ramaswamy secured 85,064 votes against Manju's 74,411 votes.
Ramaswamy and Manju have contested each other six times earlier and each had won three times. It was Ramaswamy as a Congress nominee who won the 1989 and 1999 elections when Manju was in the fray. Manju won the seat for the first time as a BJP nominee in the 1999 election. Later, he joined the Congress in the 2004 election but was unsuccessful against Ramaswamy of the JD(S). When Manju joined the Congress, Ramaswamy quit the Congress and joined JD(S).
In the 2004 election, Ramaswamy defeated Manju. In 2008 and 2013, Manju trounced Ramaswamy and was made Minister for Animal Husbandry and Sericulture in the Siddaramaiah government also holding charge as district incharge minister of Hassan.
Initially, it was believed that Arakalgudu seat would see a triangular contest among the BJP, JD(S) and Congress candidates but it finally turned out to be a direct fight in the seat between the JD(S) and Congress nominees. The BJP's Yogaramesh, district president of the party, who secured about 32,000 votes in the 2013 election, could secure only 22, 679 votes.
JD(S) national president and former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda is said to enjoy considerable clout over the seat and is said to have tilted a major chunk of votes against Manju which worked in favour of Ramaswamy....